Decemberists Further Their Work In Decemberology, Tour

Can I assume everyone knows who The Decemberists are? I think it's pretty obvious. Well, okay, I don't want to alienate our fragile readership, so let's all go back to high school. A Decemberist is someone who is an expert in Decembers, making a living in Decemberology, an overlooked, albeit necessary, field.

For instance, without them, we would know nothing of Christmas, Hanukkah, or Chanukah. I know, you're wishing you were a Decemberist. Too bad you had to be a communication major, hmm? Here's another twelfth month tidbit: December was named as the tenth month of the early Roman year, which means ten. And, for those who didn't do any Decemberific experiments in school, Pearl Jam's album Ten was named for December, and all the songs take place in that month. Wild!

The Decemberists in this country are the finest in the world. To attest to that, they have created the atomic December, a cloned December (November), and perfected space travel during our month of conversation. But they have really outdone themselves as of late. Not only are they world-renowned in Decemberology, they also are world-class musicians. Who knew? I did.

Their new collection of singles, that is, formerly known as an 'album,' The Crane Wife on Capitol Records, will be out on October 3, an ironic date. You see, Decemberists have a sense of humor, and they aren't going to get pigeonholed in one time period.

Of course, now you're imagining The Decemberists in some laboratory, turning bunsen burners on and off. Now, you'd be right about that, but sometimes they leave. Where do they go? I'm glad you asked.

Every tourdate is hilariously and ironically in December:

10.17.06 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom*
10.18.06 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom*
10.19.06 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre*
10.21.06 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern*
10.22.06 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater*
10.24.06 - Austin, TX - Stubb's*
10.25.06 - Dallas, TX - Gypsy Ballroom*
10.26.06 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues*
10.27.06 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle*
10.29.06 - Washington D.C. - 9:30 Club*
10.30.06 - Washington D.C. - 9:30 Club*
10.31.06 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre*
11.01.06 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory*
11.03.06 - New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom^
11.04.06 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre^
11.05.06 - Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis^
11.06.06 - Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus^
11.07.06 - Pontiac, MI - Clutch Cargo^
11.09.06 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Theatre^
11.10.06 - Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion^
11.11.06 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre^
11.12.06 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue^
11.14.06 - Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre^
11.16.06 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre^
11.17.06 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre^
11.18.06 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom^
11.19.06 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom^

* with Lavender Diamond, ^with Alasdair Roberts

Chevy Trucks Change From Being Like A Rock To Being Like Little Pink Houses For You And Me; John “Cougar” Mellencamp Makes TMT News!

Oh, but ain't that America for you and me? Ain't that America? Chevy Trucks are something to see, baby! Ain't that America, home of Chevy! And I mean, who really gives a crap about rocks, anyways? It's not like when you see a rock on the ground, you think, "Hey, I want to buy that," or, "Gosh, I have this sudden urge to go over to my local Chevrolet dealership and buy a solid, dependable, four-wheel drive truck."

So take that, Seger! No longer will your kitsch ballad "Like A Rock" be plastered all over advertisements for the American automobile company. According to Automotive News, the marketing team for the corporation at General Motors has enlisted none other than John "Cougar" Mellencamp to assist them with their next ad campaign.

Apparently, the budget for said campaign will run at around $400 million; chump change considering the types of revenues that the Cougar could bring them with his sweet, sweet-loving, adult-contemporary MOR. But wouldn't someone like Don Henley be better? He could sing "Silverado" and maybe even do a Beatles' "Free As A Bird"-esque duet with Johnny Cash (or Jamie Foxx impersonating Cash) on it. Now THAT would sell.

You know what they say: Mellencamp fights authority, but authority always wins. Walk tall, Johnny. Walk tall.

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Shellac to Release New Album in Early 2007; TMT Sucks

So, at the TMT meeting today, Mr P's all like... "Hey newswriters: Let's headline with Shellac tomorrow. I've got some EXCLUSIVE info!" Seems fair enough, right? WRONG, and I'll tell you why. For the last hour, no, two hours, I've been busting my chops — non-paid, mind you — trying to uncover some juicy tidbits to add to the teeny-weeny, itty-bitty, wittle TMT exclusive, of which Mr P is so proud. But guess what? There isn't any more info to report.

See, the problem is that Mr P said this Shellac news can only be a headliner if I'm "able to flesh out this story." WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN ANYWAY? FLESH OUT THE STORY?? Oh, oh, how about this, fucking asshole?? How's that for some fleshing out? Hell, I even tried e-mailing the awesome Touch & Go publicists, but they said they don't have any more info than what P already has. Pshh!!! This is ridiculous.

Well, suck-me-balls, I'm on paragraph three, and I still haven't even told you the news. Hope you're happy P. You have three paragraphs of total bullshit. And, of course, you're going to publish this because you publish ANYTHING. Yeah, go ahead and call it "experimental journalism." FUCK YOU.

Whatever. Here's Mr P's precious exclusive:

Shellac is releasing a new full-length LP in early 2007 called Excellent Italian Greyhound, named after drummer Todd Trainer's dog.

There, are you happy? Who knew P cared more about headlining with exclusive stories than his loyal newswriters. And no, I'm not acting like this just because you were "too tired" last night. Fucking prude.

Photo: ATP webcast

Ariel Pink Starts New Label; Haters Scoff, Say “Don’t Tell Me, All The Bands Are, Like, Ultra Lo-Fi Radio Pop”; Lovers Concede That Point

Some people are never satisfied. They moan and scream about needing one thing, and as soon as they get it, they've moved on to their next complaint. You can try and accommodate for these people, fulfilling their needs up to a point, but when it finally becomes apparent that this very cycle is what sustains them, the only decent thing to do is cut them off and let them solve their own problems.

Like poor people, for example. Most mornings I wake up clad in a modest tuxedo, and before I even sit down at the breakfast table to enjoy my bowl of gold shavings, there they are at the window, their reptilian tongues sliding along the glass. At first I tried to ignore them, but their blood-curdling hyena impressions are impossible to ignore. In a vain attempt to bring appeasement, I opened the window a
crack and tossed out a few squeaky toys filled with catnip. But the grotesque mass of poverty was entertained for mere minutes. Finally I caved to their demands and put twice as much catnip in their toys. Later that night, thinking the poor were finally gone, I relaxed by the fire, occasionally tossing in stacks of $100 bills and logs made of filet mignon. My eyelids became heavy, and I started to let out a yawn when the curtains flew open with a flash to reveal the same poor people, hopped up on catnip and drunk with bloodlust. "HAVE YOU NO DECENCY??" I shrieked into the howling void.

And yet, the behavior of these animals is a trifle compared to the sheer selfishness of my favorite independent musical artist, Ariel Pink. I was so proud of him for being the first non-Animal Collective artist to release records on Paw Tracks. Oh, how I sung his praises. "Ariel!" I would sing. And in the split-second it took to say his name, it felt like nothing would change. I was wrong. Mr. Pink has recently given in to peer pressure and the insatiable need for something new by starting up a brand new record label called Human Ear Music. Essentially taking his past and dragging it through a pig's trough, Ariel and a dozen or so L.A.-based artists are gearing up to hock eight initial releases all at the same time, believing that eight more things are all they'll need to achieve happiness. Some of the delusional artists planning releases include Bubonic Plague, Vibe Central, Geneva Jacuzzi, Greg Gomberg, and Jason Supercreep.

Human Ear will be distributing most of its wares direct via its website, with a focus on limited-edition releases, handmade cover art, and cheap, fleeting thrills. Most notable among the initial lineup is a two-disc/four-cassette collection of early Ariel songs, entitled Pre. These recordings are so old they aren't even technically "Pink," which leads me to wonder if I ever knew the man to begin with. Instead, it appears that Ariel Rosenberg's Thrash and Burn recorded these songs. Have I been in love with Tony Hawk all this time?

To celebrate this "next best thing," Human Ear held a label showcase in L.A. a couple nights ago. Godspeed:

09.27.06 - Melbourne, Australia - East Brunswick Club
09.29.06 - Sydney, Australia - Spectrum
10.01.06 - Melbourne, Australia - Missing Link Records
10.05.06 - Adelaide, Australia - Rocket Bar

David Bowie Shows His Sexy Cheekbones in Public to Benefit Ailing Children; Scarlett Johnansson is a Homewrecker

Dear David Bowie,

I thought you were really sexy in Labyrinth, which came out when I was a toddler. Some two-year-olds are into Big Bird; some prefer Mr. Rogers, but I was a totally rock 'n' roll kid, and something about the way you looked in those tight spandex leggings really shook my rattle, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I know you're married to Iman and all, and that you're even making an exception to your year off from music [TMT News] to perform at the Keep a Child Alive Annual Black Ball, which your wife will be hosting. But I just want you to know that I'll be there, November 9, at Hammerstein Ballroom, not because I really give a fuck about AIDS, but because I can't believe I wasted the opportunity to jump your (cheek)bones when I met you last year. Now, don't pull that "faithful husband" shit on me. I know you were banging Iggy Pop the whole time you were married to Angie. I hear you even managed to swing a few rolls in the hay with Mick Jagger.

So, I want you to think about my little proposition. You, me, backstage, AIDS benefit. It could be pretty hot. I'll wear those little panties I wore in Lost in Translation; you can wear the aforementioned spandex...

Dance, magic dance,


P.S. I'm taping your appearance on Ricky Gervais's HBO/BBC show, Extras, so I can watch it over and over again... in private.